Photo: The Los Angeles Kings 15th overall pick in 2011, Derek Forbort signed a pro contract in April and finished the season in AHL Manchester (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
After 2012 saw a first ever Stanley Cup for the Los Angeles Kings franchise, 2013 brought forth a noble defense of the title but elimination in the Conference Finals by the Chicago Blackhawks. In what is considered the most difficult of tasks, the Kings came just three wins from reaching a second consecutive final and a chance at repeating as champions.
Photo: Martin Jones won his last six starts of the regular season to clinch a playoff berth for the Monarchs, but not even his strong play could help the team overcome the Springfield Falcons in the first round of the AHL playoffs (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The prospect pool of the Los Angeles Kings saw varying amounts of playoff game time this year, but one of the more important points is that the majority of them did in fact see the postseason. Over twenty-five skaters for the Kings saw playoff action across multiple levels.
Photo: Rookie winger Tanner Pearson has done a lot of the dirty work for the Manchester Monarchs’ top line in 2012-13 (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
While some teams thrive in the development of one position or another, the Los Angeles Kings have had players of all shapes, sizes, positions, and styles put up noteworthy seasons this year that deserve recognition. While the prospect pool has waned in recent times with promotions, trades, and general roster transactions and development, the team still has a wide range of talent in multiple positions. All the way from the two-way grinding forward, to the pure sniper, to the gritty and physical defenseman, the Kings have seen a number of talented draft picks put up superb seasons in 2012-13 in very different ways.
Photo: Forward Tyler Toffoli has been impressive in his first professional season, managing about a point-per-game in the AHL before getting called up to play in the NHL with the Kings (courtesy of Ric Tapia/Icon SMI)
The Spring edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects begins with the prospects ranked 41-50. The emergence of many new rookies in the truncated NHL season presented the ranking committee with a formidable challenge. The result is a diverse group of prospects at different stages in their development, from those on the verge of NHL stardom to project players who are still years away from helping their NHL club on a nightly basis.
Photo: Rookie pro Tyler Toffoli has made a seamless transition to the AHL in 2012-13, leading the Manchester Monarchs with 26 goals so far this season. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
On the Stanley Cup winning roster of the 2012 Los Angeles Kings, there were 12 homegrown, King-drafted players, 10 of whom had spent time in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs at some point in their career. Over the years the team has built from the draft and tried to develop talent from within rather than trading or building through free agency.